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Ron DeSantis names three new circuit judges

The appointments were for the 5th and 10th Circuits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced the appointment of three new circuit judges.

Brian Welke, 54, and Danny Mosley, 60, were named to the 5th Judicial Circuit bench for Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties.

Welke has been a county judge in Lake County since 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his law degree from the University of Tulsa.

Prior to joining the bench, Welke was a sole practitioner and adoption attorney. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Lawrence Semento.

Mosley has been an assistant state attorney for the 5th Circuit State Attorney’s Office. He received his bachelor’s degree from McMurry College and his law degree from the University of Houston.

Before serving in the State Attorney’s Office, Mosley was an Assistant Statewide Prosecutor. He fills the vacancy caused by the retirement of Circuit Judge Don Briggs.

Also Tuesday, DeSantis appointed Sharon Franklin to the 10th Judicial Circuit bench for Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.

Franklin, 57, has been a county judge for Polk County since 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from Troy State University and her law degree from Barry University College of Law.

Before being a judge, Franklin was an Assistant State Attorney in the 10th Circuit State Attorney’s Office and was a school teacher before that.

Franklin fills the vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Andrea Smith to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.

Circuit judges hear felonies, juvenile matters and civil claims over $15,000, among other things. Circuit judges who are appointed must stand for election at the next regularly set election as nonpartisans. They serve six-year terms.

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